Table of Contents
- Geopolitics Beef
- Oh Young Country Ukraine
- Repelling Your Culture?
- Proud Independence
- Russia-Ukraine Beef Origin Story
- The Three Categories Of Ukraine’s Political Parties
- The Presidents and Their Parties
- Presidents’ Origin Story
- So, What Are the Other Options
- Mother (Earth): You Have Been Dating For ‘n’ Years, Why Hasn’t He Married You Yet?
- What Now
- AOB and Back To My Trading.
From my immediately previous post, it was clear the Russia-Ukraine conflict news reporting caused my first drawdown. At the time of writing the previous post, I was looking at an unrealized drawdown of 0.5% loss. The loss would cut my recently earned 1% to 0.5%. Seems small, but believe me, it HURTS. I am really pained. Corona drawdown, very understandable, But war-mongering drawdown… Come on, guys. The guys shouting the most barely survived Corona.
During this time, as a good trader, there was a need to study the reason for my losses. Well, the studying was done.
Technically, the trades were sound. There is nothing more that could be done. I had to go into the deep murky waters of Geopolitics.
N.B. This post will be longer compared to the previous posts. I will not put a TLDR link, Read the Post. :). The post will be different compared to previous posts. It has a more Op-Ed vibe to it. Fewer pictures, more words, and more outward links than usual. But I’ve tried to make short paragraphs so that you do not get tired.
A high-level explanation of the causes of the Russia-Ukraine crisis can be summarised into 2 reasons.
- One, Ukraine is a matter of strategic importance to Russia. Ukraine borders Europe to its right and the black sea to its south. Ukraine is like a door/or window to Russia. As you can see from the map below, Ukraine shares borders with both the European Union and Russia.
- And the second reason is that there is also a territorial conflict between Russia and Ukraine. As you may know, currently, Russia is in control of Crimea. And then there are two regions in Eastern Ukraine which are called Donetsk and Luhansk. So these together combined to form Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.
Oh Young Country Ukraine
Ukraine was once part of the Soviet Union and in 1991, it separated itself from USSR declaring itself an independent country on 24th August 1991. Nonetheless, as a former Soviet republic, it has deep social and cultural ties with Russia, and the Russian language is widely spoken there. This is especially true on the eastern side of Ukraine.
Again, as Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, the Russian ethnic group is understandably the largest.
N.B. A common issue in ‘controversial’ border areas is that there are usually groups with differing political, as well as armed, and regional interests. (A good example is back here at home, the Kenya-Somali border issue).
This means there are political as well as armed groups in eastern Ukraine who are pro-Russian. Therefore it is not strange that the Russian political fraternity in Moscow supports these eastern Ukrainian Russian speaking groups.
The ‘new’ Ukraine is comparatively a new country and has had a challenge in countering Russian influence on the eastern part of Ukraine. They depend on the Western liberal democracy in doing the job of giving ideological/financial/military (and many others) support in opposing the Russian culture.
Repelling Your Culture?
It is a well-known fact that it is hard to beat one’s own culture. Culture takes many years to evolve and is very hard to change the same evolved culture in a few years. This applies to Ukraine as well. As mentioned above, Ukraine is a young country in comparison to Russia.
There are very small differences between the Russian and Ukrainian cultures, and it is also very hard to distinguish who is Russian or who is Ukrainian. Both the cultures are very close and the differences tend to surface until one starts speaking about politics or one is very keen on pronunciation.
The 2 countries are also very connected infrastructurally e.g. pipelines, roads, airports, and one can easily go by train from Kyiv to Moscow.
Just to remind you again, only 30 years ago, it was all one country. It is clear there is a great ethnical mix between Ukrainians and Russians.
Even with the strong cultural connections between Russia and Ukraine, Ukrainian (or 50% of them (give or take a few), I will explain this percentage later in the post) people view Ukraine as their own country, their own ‘individuality’.
Of course, the other almost half of the other population has pro-Russian sentiments (stats show around 50%, give or take). The pro-Russian population in Ukraine tends to be viewed as a threat to Ukraine’s national sovereignty. The eastern Ukrainian Russian-speaking groups that support Russia, are called rebels or separatists. (Boy do the media animate their description)
Russia-Ukraine Beef Origin Story
To understand this conflict, we need to go back just below 30 years ago to get a clear perspective of this issue.
- The current President of Ukraine is Vladimir Zelensky who became the president on 20th May 2019.
- Before him from 2014 to 2019, the president was Petro Poroshenko.
- And from 2010 to 2014, the president of Ukraine was Viktor Yanukovych.
Just to clarify, there have been seven Presidents in Ukraine since 1991. But in regards to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, we will only look at the last three mentioned above ( from 2010 to date).
Before looking at the president’s profile, we will first look at the political parties that the presidents represent.
The Three Categories Of Ukraine’s Political Parties
The Pro-Western Political Parties
As the name suggests, these parties are pro-Western and support NATO. They can also be considered pro-Euro and are skewed towards the liberal democracy of the Western countries.
If I’m allowed to be loose-tongued in my definition of these parties, they are anti-Russian.
The Pro-Russian Political Parties
In the second category, political parties are pro-Russia. They prefer the old Soviet culture and are Eurosceptic (Anti European Union). You can say they are anti-America as well.
They tend to be liberal in their views.
The Political parties That Focus On Regional/Local Interests
This ideology in Political Science is referred to as regionalism.
The parties are quite new (five to six years old). They are still trying to understand the place of Ukraine in this world.
It is believed these parties will eventually mature into national politics. Once at the national level, international politics will be a factor, which inevitably leads to ‘taking sides’, especially in strategic talks. They will not feature in this post past this sentence. Bye noobs.
With the categories of Ukraine’s political parties, let us now see where the three presidents in focus fall into.
The Presidents and Their Parties
- Volodymyr Zelensky, the current Ukraine president, is in the ‘Servant Of The People Party’, which Is Pro-Western.
- The former President Petro Poroshenko belonged to the European Solidarity Party. Also a Pro-Western Party.
- And finally, Viktor Yanukovych, who in the 80s was part of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Once Ukraine got separated, he joined a political party called the Party of Regions in late 1997, which later on became the biggest party in Ukraine between 2006 and 2014. This political party merged with another political party forming ‘Opposition Platform For Life’ in 2014. This party was a pro-Russian/anti-American/Eurosceptic political party.
Presidents’ Origin Story
Viktor Yanukovych won the election on 25th February 2010 and the victory was considered free and fair because he was quite popular at that time.
One of the reasons for his popularity was his predecessor’s government which was very unpopular towards the end of its term and had many internal issues.
Viktor Yanukovych then easily became Ukraine’s favorite presidential candidate at the time.
Unfortunately, Viktor made ‘Padawan’ political blunders in the first year of his term.
In April 2010, just one month after winning the election, his government signed a landmark agreement with the Russian government in the city of Kharkiv (Kharkiv Pact).
Dmitry Medvedev was the Russian President, and Vladimir Putin was the Russian Prime Minister at the time of the pact.
In this agreement, Russia agreed to reduce the price of natural gas sold to Ukraine by 30% and in return, the Ukrainian government would extend the lease of the Russian naval base in the Black Sea at Sebastopol (Crimea) in Ukraine beyond 2017 until 2042.
The treaty was seen as ‘fishy’ in the publics’ eyes as Russia and Ukraine had an uneasy relationship after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. One major issue was how to divide the fleet of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea among Bodies countries.
The agreement was heavily criticized by the Ukrainian public because they viewed it as letting Russia control Crimea in exchange for low-cost gas. I guess it is common, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of beans… not even ribs or something… BEANS. Also, African leaders have this tendency. If I start sharing links of my African leaders, this post will have to be published as a minimum 5 part Book.
America was on the periphery monitoring the developments.
Like the men who are usually at the periphery waiting for a relationship to go south and move in picking the spoils of war 🙂.
(I had to put a light moment section in the post. Been a long time coming as these war talks have messed up my trading and I am very mad. I just see these old people talk about war and I Wish they… (come on son, relax. You recently went back to church, pray for them. Do not talk ill or wish them ill). Anyhoo, back to our politics)
The United States was clearly not a fan of his. This would cause friction as the United States always had an eye for ‘damsel in distress’ Ukraine.
- The United States supported Ukraine’s separation from the Soviets in 1994. It was the United States who oversaw the Ukraine and Russia agreement of the elimination of Soviet nuclear weapons systems in Ukraine. They also ensured security and safety for Ukraine.
- The USA also helped Ukraine with the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 by cleaning up the nuclear waste after the meltdown. I think I know this place because of the many video games that have recreated this place. COD anyone?
- In 1997, NATO and Ukraine’s partnership started developing but Ukraine NEVER joined NATO. (starts clearing throat from here).
- In 2003, Ukraine deployed 1000s of troops in Iraq and supported the invasion of Iraq by the United States.
The United States/Euro and Ukraine had a ‘thing’ and Russia was always against this (the jealous ex).
Back to Viktor. In 2010, the Kharkiv Pact did not go well with Ukrainians (50% primarily from the West).
We had earlier mentioned Viktor made blunders in the first year of his term. In October 2010, Yanukovych amended the Ukrainian constitution changing article 111 of the Ukrainian constitution, which amended the president’s removal.
This created a negative perception among the public. He must have talked to some African presidents on this issue :). Let’s do a poll, I pick Museveni. Comment your pick.
The president was also plagued with several corruption cases. Many media reports claimed that his immediate family members benefited a lot during his presidency. By the end of 2012, his approval ratings and popularity went south.
Viktor Trying To Save Face… and Failed
Viktor and his ministers then proposed to sign the European Union Association Agreement, and what do you know, there was significant support from the Ukrainian public. They hyped the new gig till his ratings rose again.
On 21st November 2013, the government went back on its promise and suspended the signing of the European Union Ukraine association agreement. Boy-Oh-Boy! This created civil unrest in Ukraine.
The protests morphed into a political movement that was called the Euromaidan movement.
The protests continued until January 2014 when the Ukrainian Parliament passed a group of anti-protest laws that made the public even angrier.
An agreement was reached between the government and protesters under the mediation of the European Union and Russia on 21st February 2014. Shortly after the agreement, Yanukovych and other high government officials fled the country.
Side Note – KGB Infiltration Tactics?
As EuroMaidan protests were getting more heated by the day and Viktor yielded and signed the truce document, Crimea and other Russian-Friendly regions were also protesting.
Russia took this opportunity to Infiltrate the Crimea Peninsula
As parliament was removing Yanukovych from office, protests were happening in Crimea, and eastern Ukraine, where the majority was Russia friendly.
Russian troops took this opportunity to go to Crimea Supreme Council, installing their own pro-Russian leader Sergei Askyonov.
Russia also helped conduct the Crimean referendum voting in favor of joining the Russian Federation. On 16th March 2014, Crimea declared its independence.
The 50-50 Ukraine Split I have Been Mentioning In the Post
Back to Viktor’s story (actually finalizing it).
Even though the majority of Ukrainians supported Euromaidan, there is still a large number of people who were against it. The split was almost 50-50 give or take.
Anyhoo, Yanukovych and some of his government officials fled to Russia, and a temporary government was set up that later became permanent. Petro Poroshenko was elected as the president in 2014. He was the opposition leader during the crisis and in many of his interviews claimed to have been one of the organizers of the 2013 protests. This greatly increased his popularity.
In this year (2014), Putin was the president of Russia, Euromaidan had ended, Crimea was ‘independent’, Ukraine had a new president, and let me say it again, Putin was President of Russia. I mean, this is a guy who trends on social media shirtless on horse-back. Or you see a video of him ignoring his motorcade and walking to his residence. The chairman of ‘the Brass Cojones Community’.
Anyway, Putin being chairman man of the above community decided to stir things up a little and publicly declare protecting the rights of Russian citizens and Russian speakers in Crimea and southeast Ukraine. This created a sense of connection between these people to Russia and of course, caused friction with the rest of the Ukrainians.
Donetsk and Luhansk
Well, Donetsk and Luhansk regions experienced fighting between the separatist forces in the region and the Ukrainian military. It is believed the separatists are supported by Russia, but Russia denies this involvement.
By the way, Donetsk and Luhansk are also called the Donbass region.
N.B. In July 2014, Malaysian Airline MH 17 was shot down over Ukraine’s airspace, in the Donbass region. It is believed to have been shot down by a Russian-built surface-to-air missile system (BUK missile system developed by yours truly)
It is believed that many Ukrainian Air Force aircraft have been shot down by the rebel forces in these regions, and it is only the Malaysian Airlines that had coverage (I think it is sad how we as a people have become used to killing each other and moving on. What of the family members still waiting for their loved ones and their flight was shot down). This Malaysian Air incident caused tensions; on one side you have Ukraine forces supported by the United States and European Union, and on the other side you have separatists supported by Russia. Like Putin stated on February 21, 2022, Ukraine became a battleground (yes he mentioned it on Feb 21, 2022, but it is clear it was a battleground even before).
On 5th September 2014, France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine came up with a ceasefire agreement known as the Minsk agreement. Minsk is the capital of Belarus.
Sad to say the agreement failed as there were numerous ceasefire violations in Donbass region from both sides.
A fresh agreement was set up called Minsk 2, which was signed on 12th February 2015. Well, like the first agreement, this one flopped too.
Main Reasons For Ceasefire Violations
- Ukraine wants a ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian heavy weaponry, and full Ukrainian government control in the conflict zones.
- Russia on the other hand wants these regions to govern themselves.
- Another reason is that the Crimean peninsula and Donbass are quite prosperous and industrialized (not the way ‘Big’ media portrays them. Well, I’m from Africa, I know how ‘Big’ media can show the rest of the world how ‘shit-hole’ your hood is, that is if they want… Hi CNN 🙂
- There is also the strategic importance of Donbass to Russia.
So this region has seen conflict most of the time instead of peace. No one wants to be the ‘bigger man’ as they say.
Fast forward to 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky was elected as the new president of Ukraine and he decided to bring something new and fresh to the table, the Frank-Walter Steinmeier method. Spice things up a little.
So what is Steinmeier’s formula?
It is a peace plan proposed by former German President Frank Walter Steinmeier. Zelensky chose it as an alternative to the Minsk agreement.
As per this formula, Ukraine has to grant self-governing status to the territories of Donbass, only after conducting local elections. Whatever the outcome of the election, the decision would be recognized by the OSCE group. Ukraine added a twist to this proposal, total cease-fire and withdrawal of Russian influence in Ukraine.
Russia on the other had proposed Elections, then autonomy, then the rest to follow.
Things resumed the usual back and forth.
Basically, Ukraine is unable to conduct local elections because Russia wants them to conduct elections and give autonomy, then ceasefire, and then withdrawal of Russian troops and weapons to happen. And Ukraine has refused these terms.
So, What Are the Other Options
The other option is for Ukraine to confront Russia, man-o-mano. Well, the way the experts and news people are putting it, it will be another “World Star” Beatdown Moment (parental advisory on the video, but that is where Ukraine is going). Ukraine will be beaten like a small child… Heheheh 🙂 If they are to confront Russia, they would need NATO’s help.
Remember in April 2016, NATO announced that the alliance would deploy troops to Eastern Europe to assist the ‘small’ countries like Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland against their ‘bully’ neighbor Russia.
Mother (Earth): You Have Been Dating For ‘n’ Years, Why Hasn’t He Married You Yet?
In October 2018, Ukraine, the United States, and seven other North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries were involved in a series of large-scale exercises in western Ukraine. Ukraine and NATO have done several gigs together, why is it that till now, Ukraine has not received NATO membership?
Ukraine’s public is in full support of NATO. Ukraine has also not received European Union membership, Yikes! Ukraine is only a part of the DCFTA agreement, which is trade-related (mostly small countries should look at the fine print in these trade-related papers with dotted lines… WTO anyone? Anyhoo, let’s continue).
Ukraine’s the girlfriend who has stayed with the ‘boyfirend’/’faince’’ in his house for years and nothing official has been cemented. God, the parents, and the government do not know of this union… Hehehehe.
It only sounds fair that if USA and EU care about Ukraine (the small country that needs their help), the nation should have been in NATO and EU by now, or Last Year for that matter.
European Union know if they give Ukraine EU membership, the next thing is that Ukrainians will immediately move from Ukraine (a small country that needs the help of big brother(s), boo hoo), to another (bigger more polished… we won’t mention them… Oh the ‘He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned’ Lot) EU states. Though it is never mentioned, the rich EU counties don’t like that. Well, they have started expressing this. One of the ‘polished’ lot anyone?
The resistance to NATO membership is stronger than the EU. NATO knows that with Ukraine in NATO, NATO may have to deploy forces in Ukraine. Who will NATO forces meet in Ukraine, you guessed it, Russian troops led by a shirtless general on horseback (hehehehe… sorry, I had to).
That is the stalemate now.
With minimal (or no) options to neutralize the ‘bad guy’ Russia’s influence in Ukraine, well, the West has resorted to propaganda, war narrative, sanctions, and downright dangerous childish behavior. Basically all-out threats. Remember the Nord Stream 2 threat?
USA’S Directive, European Consequences
Biden must have taken Donald Trump’s nickname to heart (or butthurt, ouch!), Sleepy Joe, and did something about it. My man if fired up off-late. Check out Google.
Well, Germany on the other hand, and Europe as a whole have been quieter. Do you know why, they heavily depend on Russia for Natural Gas, and other stuff?
Or maybe they consulted some wise African elders who told them of an appropriate African Prover.
If you stoop to see your neighbor’s anus, then your own anus is wide open for others to see, even more easily and clearly.
Ukraine also urged ‘Full-O-Beans Joe’ to take a chill pill on his tongue. USA narrative seems to be harming Ukrain more than helping ‘the small country that needs everybody’s help’. Oh, our damsel in distress Ukraine Oh.
If the Russia Ukraine crisis escalates, gas prices in Europe will increase, affecting many industries in Europe.
Germany, France, and other countries are careful in their steps. While the US and some countries are donating weapons, Germany is donating medical aid.
By the way, before we forget, Germany is the same country where one of its navy chiefs praised Putin and lost his job.
There is some truth to his sentiments though. As time passes by, it seems clearer that Russia does not want WAR, unlike USA and UK (especially after Putin’s 21st Feb 2022 speech recognizing Donbass autonomy)
After Putin’s speech on 21st February, the west was pissed (this should be a bigger holiday than Valentine’s day or Mothers Day… ‘International Butt-Hurt Day’). They have barked War and sanctions and other political beef. Reports of weapons and troops are mobilizing. But not much commitment. There is more commitment to giving Ukraine weapons and then they are to fight Russia on their own. Will this Ukraine-Russia war be placed on betting sites? What do you think the odds will be?
My anger led me to research this issue and I finally understood why my trades were messed up. What if my drawdown was say 5% or 10%, I see crazy testimonials on the internet when it comes to drawdown.
My 0.5% drawdown led to all this. I’m I an angry man and I don’t know? Hahahaha.
But the ball is in Ukraine’s court. Will they listen to Boris? You know Boris has been unable to finalize Brexit by the way. But now he’s the master tactician when it comes to war. Will he and his people allow Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK and take their jobs? Poland has more insight into this.
Will Ukraine listen to the USA? Will the USA send Natural Gas together with the weapons? Will they also send their troops?
Will Germany’s ‘band-aid’ be enough when the ‘shirtless general’ and his troops say enough is enough? Only time will tell.
AOB and Back To My Trading.
When it comes to my Fundamental/Sentiment Analysis, I will need to do more as I have done above. The western media have their own agendas. So, if I’m to study interest rates/central banks, I should channel the anger that has led to this and go through the internet as I have done above.
‘Full-O-Beans Joe’ should concentrate on inflation in his country by the way. Or What do you think guys? Share your comments in the comment section.
Anyway, at the moment, I closed all my trades. I’m too angry to trade. Let us see how this thing goes. The markets are just crazy.
Share your thought in the comment section and on Forums.